Bank of America/future residential site at 5201 Wisconsin Ave. Photo from Live Maps.

The developer of a new residential building on Wisconsin Avenue in Friendship Heights may seek a zoning variance to build more parking than they’d originally planned. Why? Because some nearby residents are insisting that the project build more parking, even though Roadside, the developers, don’t think it’s necessary.

According to this week’s Current (beginning of article, continuation), Roadside told ANC 3E, which covers Friendship Heights, that they are considering seeking a variance to add more parking and reduce the number of “stacking” spaces for cars queuing at the drive-through Bank of America in front of the residential development.

“We have enough parking under the existing zoning,” Roadside co-founder Armond Spikell wrote in an e-mail to The Current last week, referring to the number of spaces required by zoning rules. “We proposed the change only in response to the neighbors’ desire for us to provide more parking.”

While Roadside expects many people to own cars, many aren’t; at their Cityline at Tenley project, they’ve only sold 167 spaces for 204 units. This project plans 26 spaces for 49 units. For its part, the ANC “reacted mutedly to Roadside’s offer.” One Commissioner raised concerns that foregoing the stacking spaces would create more problems. And perhaps they also realized that if Roadside thinks 26 spaces are enough for its residents, 26 spaces may well indeed be enough.


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David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.